Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Israeli Journal I: Tel Aviv

The cards advertising escort services litter the sidewalk in front of the Intercontinental David on the Rehov Kaufman. Across the street from the hotel is the Al-Aqsa mosque which faces the Mediterranean. Tel Aviv like Paris and New York is now wired for bikes and facing the mosque is a rack where you can rent bikes to ride along the pathway of high rises that face the sea. The path is crowded with runners and the lines of luxury condominiums and hotels facing the beaches crowded with umbrellas and hawkers is reminiscent of Miami Beach. The modern day pilgrim to the Holy Land who might be bewildered by his exact spiritual whereabouts in this modern megalopolis may find his bearings as he wanders the warren of streets leading along Rehov Shabazi whose structures begin to resonate the waves of history that lie under the carapace of thriving modern mercantile society. Gelaterias compete with centuries old structures which resonate the waves of occupiers from the Romans to the Turks (Jaffa had been the original port city during the days of the Ottoman empire and the Second Aliyah). The historical chorus of partition, Haganah, Palmach, Balfour, Meir and the eponymous, David Ben Gurion, after whom the airport is named, are all drowned out by the words,
“two state solution, which hang like a mirage over the city.

1 comment:

  1. jylle benson-gaussMay 28, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Sounds like the membrane separating past from present is especially thin in Tel Aviv. Your mirage imagery is wonderful, as is the sentence beginning "The modern day pilgrim..."
    I really enjoy your travel journals. I'm looking forward to hearing about the food, too.


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